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How to make a “rain plan”

Let’s talk about rain plans.

Here’s the truth – unless you are lucky enough to be planning a wedding in southern California, cooperative weather is not guaranteed. So, if you are planning an outdoor wedding in upstate New York, it’s crucial to have an air-tight rain plan, should the need arise. As your Hudson Valley wedding planner, here are my best tips for creating your weather contingency plans.

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Have a rain plan in mind when you choose your venue.

You may have the perfect outdoor venue in mind for your wedding day, but make sure that you take into account the rain plan alternatives available at your venue before you book. Be honest with yourself – if you would be massively disappointed with where events take place in the case of rain, you might want to consider looking at a venue where you can be at peace with the plans in case of rain.

Think through the whole day.

Walk through the whole day for you and your guests in ideal weather and then in less-than-ideal weather. In the case of rain, will guests have to travel between uncovered spaces during the event? If so, should you provide umbrellas? Will there need to be a room/space flip between the ceremony and reception, or will rain make the path between spaces less clear? Think through the flow of the event in both scenarios, and think of ways to make transitions smooth in case of rain.

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Keep timing in mind.

The key to a great rain plan is a good decision time – the time you set on the day whether you’ll proceed with your outdoor plans or switch to your weather contingency plan. Make sure you run this time by your vendors, taking into account how much time they need to complete necessary tasks. For example, if your ceremony is going to be moved indoors and your florist needs 2 hours to set up the chuppah and the caterer needs 3 hours to set the chairs, make sure you set your cut off time to account for those tasks.

Consider a rain plan tent.

If your venue doesn’t come with a built-in rain plan covered area, then you might consider having a tent on stand-by. Many rental companies will allow couples to put a tent on hold for a deposit, and then a few days before the wedding choose to move forward with the tent (if the forecast looks iffy) or cancel the tent (if the forecast is clear). Yes, it is an added expense, but the peace of mind that comes with having a back up plan? Priceless.

Consider vendors with expensive equipment.

Even if you are willing to take a chance and have your ceremony outdoors in a 50% chance of rain, vendors will expensive equipment or inventory may not be willing to take that risk. For example, a string quartet with expensive instruments, a DJ with an electronic sound system or a rental company with wood farm tables will definitely want to shield their items from moisture, so keep that in mind as you formulate your contingency plans.

Stay positive.

Even if you’ve chosen a venue with a great rain plan, it can be easy to get wrapped up in anxiety if the weather forecast is looking iffy on your wedding weekend. Do your best to relax and focus on what matters – your marriage – and rest in the careful plan you’ve created.

Are you struggling with creating a rain plan for your Hudson Valley Wedding? Get in touch. I would love to help you out!

Cheers, Corinne

{Photos by Ray + Kelly Photography}

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